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Ethiopia: Humanitarian aid needed as situation deteriorates in Tigray – The Maravi Post

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Yesterday, almost 40 trucks with humanitarian supplies, including food, left the Afar capital of Semera for Tigray – the first convoy to do so since 18 October.  

Meanwhile, trucks containing fuel and medical supplies are still waiting for clearance in Semera. 

Around 500 trucks of humanitarian supplies are required per week, Stéphane Dujarric informed journalists at a regular press briefing. 

Seven million food insecure 

In November 2020, heavy fighting between central Government troops and those loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have left Ethiopia’s northern regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar in dire need of humanitarian assistance. 

And after months of killings, looting and destruction of health centres and farming infrastructure, including irrigation systems that are vital to the production effort, those needs have only surged. 

Currently, some seven million people throughout the country are suffering acute food insecurity. 

Growing needs 

Meanwhile following their suspension on 22 October, UN Humanitarian Air Service flights to Mekelle have resumed, allowing the UN and humanitarian partners to rotate staff in and out of Tigray and transfer a limited amount of operational cash.  

However, said the Spokesperson, “humanitarian partners on the ground continue to report significant challenges due to cash shortages for operations”. 

Despite a $40 total injection of new resources to Ethiopia – $25 million from CERF and $15 million from the country-based Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF) –  the country still faces a funding gap of $1.3 billion, including $350 million for the response in Tigray. 

Despite an extremely challenging operating environment, humanitarian partners continue to respond to urgent and growing needs across northern Ethiopia, including in Amhara and Afar. 

In Amhara, a major food assistance operation kicked off in Kombolcha and Dessie towns, targeting more than 450,000 people over the next two weeks. 

Relocate families 

Yesterday, the UN announced that given the security situation in the country, and out of an abundance of caution, it is reducing its footprint in Ethiopia by temporarily relocating all eligible dependents.  

“It is important to note that staff will remain in Ethiopia to deliver on our mandates”, Dujarric said.  

The UN will monitor the situation as it evolves, keeping in mind the safety of the staff and the need to continue its operations and support all those who need assistance. 

Earlier this month, the Organization confirmed that at least 16 UN staff and dependents had been detained in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and that it was working with the Government of Ethiopia to secure their immediate release.

Sourced from United Nations Africa Pages



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COVID contributed to 69,000 malaria deaths WHO finds, though ‘doomsday scenario’ averted – The Maravi Post

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However, “the doomsday scenario” projected by the WHO has not materialised,” Dr Pedro Alonso, Director, WHO Global Malaria Programme said at the launch of the UN agency’s annual World Malaria Report in Geneva.

According to the analysis, moderate disruptions in the delivery of malaria services contributed to 14 million malaria cases and 69,000 deaths.

Two thirds (or 47,000) of the additional malaria deaths, were due to disruptions in the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment during the pandemic.

Early in the pandemic, WHO had projected a doubling of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, as a worst-case scenario. Yet, the analysis found there was an estimated 12 per cent increase in deaths in the region between 2019 and 2020.

“The first message is a good news message. Thanks to urgent and strenuous efforts we can claim that the world has succeeded in averting the worst-case scenario of malaria deaths,” Dr Alonso said.

Disruptions to malaria services

The report found that just 58 per cent of countries completed their planned campaigns to distribute insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) in 2020, with most experiencing important delays.

Globally, 72 per cent of all ITNs planned for distribution had been distributed by the end of 2020.

In 2020 of the 65 countries who responded, 37 countries reported partial disruptions (5 per cent to 50 per cent) to malaria diagnosis and treatment services.

By 2021 15 countries reported partial disruptions (5 per cent- 50per cent) and 6 countries reported severe disruptions.

Global burden of malaria

This year’s World malaria report used new methodology to estimate malaria deaths worldwide. This resulted in a larger share (7.8 per cent) of deaths among under-five children than previously recognized (4.8 per cent). 

“We have a better estimate of the real malaria burden and this is now at 627 thousand deaths in 2020” Dr Alonso said.

The report found that there was a 27 per cent reduction in case incidence (cases per 1000 population) of malaria from 2000 to 2020 with an overall downward trend in the malaria death rate from 2000 to the present day.

This amounted to a 49 per cent reduction in the malaria mortality rate from 2000 to 2020. The report noted that the WHO African Region carried about 95 per cent of global malaria cases in 2020, and 96 per cent of global malaria deaths in 2020.

Plateau in progress

The report revealed that globally, 1.7 billion cases and 10.6 million deaths were averted between 2000 and 2020. Most of the malaria cases (82 per cent) and deaths (95 per cent) averted over the last 20 years were in the WHO African Region.

However, even before the emergence of COVID-19, global gains against malaria were levelling off.” “We are not on a trajectory to success, we are increasingly moving away from reaching the 2020 milestones of WHO’s global malaria strategy,” Dr Alonso said.

A new, country-driven approach to malaria control in high-burden countries was beginning to gain momentum when COVID-19 struck.

According to the analysis in 2020, global malaria case incidence was off track by 40 per cent and the global mortality rate for 2020 was off track by 42 per cent.

Uneven progress 

On a global scale, progress against malaria remains uneven. The report found that many countries with a low burden of the disease are moving steadily towards the goal of malaria elimination.

Two countries – El Salvador and China – were certified malaria-free by WHO in 2021. However, most countries with a high burden of the disease have suffered setbacks and are losing ground. 

Significant and growing gaps

Global progress against malaria over the past two decades was achieved, in large part, through the massive scale-up and use of WHO-recommended malaria tools that prevent, detect and treat the disease.

However, the most recent data also demonstrate that significant and sometimes widening gaps in access to life-saving tools for people at risk of malaria.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The report warns that the situation remains precarious, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. A convergence of threats in the region poses an added challenge to disease control efforts.

These include Ebola outbreaks in DRC and Guinea, armed conflicts and flooding. At the same time, the document reiterates that the pandemic is not over, and the pace of economic recovery is uncertain. Without immediate and accelerated action, key 2030 targets of the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria will be missed, and additional ground may be lost.

Meeting global malaria targets

The strategy’s goals include a 90 per cent reduction in global malaria incidence and mortality rates by 2030. The report reiterated that this will require new approaches and intensified efforts aided by new tools and better implementation of existing ones.

This includes a stronger emphasis on equitable and resilient health systems and data-driven strategies.

The report also recommended the expanded use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine recommended by WHO in October. “the vaccine is feasible to deliver, is safe, has a public health impact and is cost-effective,” Dr Alonso said.

“As we speak GAVI is discussing opening up a window for investment in this malaria vaccine,” he added. 

Funding ‘flatlined’

The analysis also emphasized that stepped-up investment is also essential. “Funding has flatlined” Dr. Alonso warned “We are about 50 per cent off what we believed the target should be for 2020”.

The report found that a total of $3.3 billion was invested globally in malaria control and elimination in 2020. This was against a target of $6.8 billion to reach global malaria targets.

Annual investments will need to more than triple by 2030 – to $10.3 billion per year, the report noted.

UN Health News

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The music group preserving an eroding ethnic tradition for Aka people – The Maravi Post

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Unique drummed rhythms, dynamic dances, and instrumental music using harps, musical bows, and a flute.

It all testifies to the richness of an indigenous culture that today finds itself under threat.

Aka is an indigenous group predominantly based in the north of the Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.

Music is at the heart of its culture and has been used by the group to celebrate, but also protest.

Some songs are joyful, others are sad. Some sing of forest spirits and hunting, others about the many obstacles Aka people face today.

Some Aka people feel their culture and its traditions are being eroded over time.

This caught the attention of ethnologist Sorel Okanango Eta, who’s studied the group since 1996.

He decided to take action and raise awareness about the Aka people and preserve their culture and traditions. In 2003, Eta created the ‘Ndima’ music group, meaning “forest” in Aka language.

The group is made up of Aka dancers and singers.

Ndima is committed to the promotion and safeguarding of the Aka indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage through various shows and cultural events.

Throughout October, Ndima prepared for their next international tour, rehearsing dances and songs which draw attention to hardships faced by the Aka people, such as discrimination and sexual violence. The group is currently on tour in Europe.

Angélique Manongo is the oldest dancer in the group, she joined when it was first created in 2003.

“In the Ndima group, I sing, and I dance. In our songs, we talk about everything we experience in the forest. When we go on tour overseas and we teach white people how to sing and dance like us,” she says.

The Aka live in the forests of northern Congo-Brazzaville and speak the Aka language.

The group is striving to preserve its way of life despite the growing influence of modern cultures and the scarcity of resources in the sparsely populated forest, which has been devastated by farmers and loggers.

Aka music has formed a part of many Aka people’s daily lives since childhood.

“I learned to dance from a young age, I learned it from my mother. It is our mothers who transmit this knowledge to us, whether it is singing or dancing, and we follow in their footsteps,” says Manongo.

Some songs are joyful, others are sad.

Some sing of forest spirits, hunting, healing and mourning rites, others about the discrimination and violence Aka people face.

“First of all, there are cases of rape, we have songs in which they denounce the rapes. There are songs in which they denounce discrimination,” says the group’s founder and director Sorel Eta.

“Generally speaking, we sing for the hunt, for the spirits of the forest, we sing to denounce certain injustices,” he adds.

The group’s European tour is testament to its success and talent, but the group has also found support locally.

One fan of the Ndima group, Lemonde Bouele, has followed their music since childhood and often comes to watch them rehearse.

“I hung out with them in Ouesso, when I was eight-years-old. And through them, I got to know a music called Yodel. I had never heard of this before, I only knew it through them,” he says.

“Since I am used to coming to attend when they rehearse, or concerts like at the French cultural centre, I got a taste for it.”

The Aka are just one of at least ten ethnically and linguistically distinct groups in Central Africa.

They’ve been living in tropical forests for hundreds, if not thousands of years, according to some experts, who consider the group the “first citizens” of the Congo and Central African Republic.

Source: Africanews

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Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Court Sentences Ousted Leader To Four Year Jail Term

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Once again, Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi is remaining the subject of discussion among the people as soon as her arresting news occupied the entire social media. Now everyone is paying attention that what is the cause of her four years sentence behind the bars. Approximately 11 charges have been registered on her made due to which, she has been detained by the concerned department but she is denying to accept her flaws, it includes encouraging dissent and breaking the protocols of the novel virus has taken a new variant in the country and spreading massively.

Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar's Leader Sentenced To Four Years Jail Term

As per the exclusive reports, Aung San Sunn Kyi has been taken into custody under section 505 (B) along with two years imprisonment under Natural Disaster Law. Previous to this, she has faced house arresting since February 2021, but now again she came into the limelight while breaking the protocols of the novel virus because of which, she has been sent behind the bars for around 6 years. On this day, the co-defendant & ex-president and National League for Democracy “Win Myint” also had been detained by the concerned department for some exploits, but this time Aung San Suu Kyi hit the headlines all over the internet sites.

Aung San Suu Kyi Sentenced To Jail By Myanmar Court

If the recent reports are to be considered, So the Myanmar Leader has been charged included corruption and violating the official acts. During the investigation, some unknown facts came to the fore related to Aung Saan Suu Kyi as she was involved in the electoral fraud last year. Although the election commission later said that everything had been sorted out and elections were fair enough, nothing has happened, and if some flaws were reported so they have been removed by the concerned authority. But just in a small time period she again came into the limelight due to such exploit.

It is being said that she is struggling so they should make everyone aware of her recent circumstances, even the newly established National Unity Government’s spokesperson said, that the Leader who was recently detained is not well enough as she has ordered to face her sentence regarding the 104 days now. Meanwhile, he said that everyone who is involved in the investigations wants her to die behind the bars. These pieces of details have been derived from the other sources, so whenever we will get more we will update you for sure so stay connected with us.

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